“Fun is ALWAYS good for business!”
– Barbara Corcoran
As difficult as it may be to believe, we don’t necessarily have to wait until we leave the office to have fun. Speaking from personal experience, there’s plenty of ways that we can infuse more fun into our working hours.
Truth be told, the more ‘play time’ we have at work, the more likely we’ll be able to increase the joy we get from work and the more likely you’ll look forward to showing up with a smile on your face day in and day out!
This is why, on this post, I’m sharing some practical and easy to apply suggestions that I have found to be effective in elevating fun in the workplace. As a great bonus, these tips have also helped me to establish genuine relationships at work. I hope that they too will help make your work days a whole lot more fun!
Have an Office Movie Session
I am a proud movie and TV shows fiend and this is something that people at work know all too well about me.
For the past couple of years, as my job allows me to work from home/ home office/ basically anywhere I want, I am even able to watch movies and TV shows as I work!
That said, I know my limits and I don’t have the TV or iPad on when I’m in a meeting or tackling a task that requires much focus and/or brain power. But as someone who absolutely despises mundane tasks (think data entry and reporting), having entertainment on in the background while I do these menial tasks keeps me motivated. It adds a bit of fun to something that I would otherwise procrastinate on.
As Tim Ferris, a personal development ‘guru’ said, “If you‘re serious all the time, you’ll wear out before the truly serious stuff gets done”
And yes, I am aware that this tip is probably not for everyone. So if having a TV show or movie on while you work ends up being more of a distraction rather than a motivation for you, maybe what you can do is to play your favorite music playlist instead.
Alternatively, you can suggest to have an office movie session every week or so during lunchtime and/or after work. You can take turns selecting the movies – this type of activity may just encourage bonding time over similar movie genres and/or mutual interests!
Integrate Games into Your Meetings
Working remotely has many advantages, but it also comes with a couple of drawbacks. When it comes to meetings, for example, we definitely have to put in that extra effort to make it as fruitful (and fun) as possible.
It sounds counterintuitive but I found that including games to team meetings can effectively increase both productivity and fun as it encourages all participants to be engaged instead of staying silent or acting as a spectator.
My team and I particularly love ‘Conference Call Bingo’.. which you guessed it, is inspired by the good ol’ Bingo. The idea is simple, by using a Google Drive file, insert phrases that are frequently said during team calls or meetings into the boxes (instead of numbers) and assign a color to each team member. Whoever fills out the tiles all in a row (diagonal, vertical, or horizontal) first, wins!
Not your cup of tea? Don’t fret – here are more great team games you can try instead: Team building game ideas
One of the biggest reasons why I love my job is that I don’t only consider my team members as mere colleagues, they are my friends.
While it’s true that building relationships at work can take work in the short-term, in the long run, they are certainly worth it. In fact, studies show that having a positive working environment can lead to increased productivity.
Author of ‘Vital Friends’, Tom Rath even found that people with at least a ‘best friend’ at work may be up to 7 times more engaged than those who do not. Moreover, cultivating work friendships have been found to increase the level of satisfaction, teamwork, and even fewer days of leave due to illness (sick leaves).
Celebrate small wins together
One thing that is sure to make you feel inundated at your job is when you feel as if work is just an endless uphill climb of goals to achieve.
Whether it’s meeting your sales quota or surpassing your quarterly ROI (Return on Investments), when it comes to goals, though they initially can act as motivation, if we don’t take the time to pause and celebrate our ‘wins’, can end up becoming demotivating.
So, take the time to stop and take in the little milestones – no matter how trivial it may be. Go out and have a drink together and take the time to look back at how far you have come already.
Acknowledging your achievements as a team also helps to increase a sense of camaraderie which plays a crucial role in maintaining motivation and keeping your eyes on the goals as a team – even when the going gets tough.
Set Regular Team Building Meetings
I don’t know about you but it appears to me that the phrase gets quite a bit of ‘bad rep’ in the professional world. Perhaps it’s because, in many companies around the globe, it ends up being more of a ‘burden’ than the fun activity it’s meant to be.
Personally, I’ve had (and continue) to have great experiences in team building meetings and workshops and I found it effective – particularly for remote workers.
For me, the secret lies in that it should be informal and focused on fun. ‘Shop’ talk or mentions of anything about work should be kept to a minimum – if any. Keep in mind that the purpose of a team building meeting is to strengthen trust and enable all team members to see their peers in a personal light – as a human being and a friend – not just as their colleague.
To do this, play games that enable each participant to take a peek into everyone else’s’ lives beyond work – Games that would shed a light on their interests, hopes, dreams, fears, and so forth.
By shedding a light into our personal lives, we enable each other to invest in a deeper relationship which in turn will create a strong bond and positive working environment that will elevate the level of satisfaction and minimize stress in the workplace!
There you have it, these are just some of the many ways that you can infuse more fun at work. Give them a try! I hope that they will be as effective for you as they are for me and my team in creating a working environment that you’re more than happy to be a part of. 🙂